Synthesis and anti-HIV-1 activity of a series of 1-alkoxy-5-alkyl-6- (arylthio)uracils

Dae Kee Kim, Jongsik Gam, Young Woo Kim, Jinsoo Lim, Hun Taek Kim, Key H. Kim

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A series of 1-alkoxy-5-alkyl-6-(arylthio)uracils was synthesized and tested for their ability to inhibit HIV-1 replication. Treatment of 2-alkyl- 3,3-bis(methylthio)acryloyl chlorides (5a-e) with AgOCN in benzene followed by reaction of the resulting isocyanates 6a-e with an appropriate alkoxyamine gave N-alkoxy-N'-((2-alkyl-3,3-bis(methylthio)acryloyl)ureas (10a-z) in good to excellent yields. Cyclization of 10a-z in AcOH containing a catalytic amount of p-TsOH produced 1-alkoxy-5-alkyl-6-(methylthio)uracils (11a-z). Oxidation of 11a-z with 3-chloroperoxybenzoic acid in CH2Cl2 resulted in high yields of 1-alkoxy-5-alkyl-6-(methylsulfonyl)uracils (12a-x and 12z) and 1-(benzyloxy)-6-(methylsulfinyl)thymine (12y), which were subsequently reacted with an appropriate arenethiol in ethanolic NaOH solution to afford 1-alkoxy-5-alkyl-6-(arylthio)uracils (14-49). Substitution at the 3- and 5- positions of the C-6-(phenylthio) ring by two methyl groups significantly increased its original anti-HIV-1 activity (EC50: 6-((3,5- dimethylphenyl)thio)-5-isopropyl-1-propoxyuracil (18), 0.064 μM; 6-((3,5- dimethylphenyl)thio)-1-(3-hydroxypropoxy)-5-isopropyluracil (23), 0.19 μM). Among the various alkoxy substituents at the N-1, the propoxy group was the most beneficial for improving the anti-HIV-1 activity. The 1-propoxy derivative 18 proved to be the most potent inhibitor of HIV-1 replication, followed by the 1-(3-hydroxypropoxy) derivative 23. Introduction of an isopropyl group at C-5 of the uracil base also remarkably enhanced the activity. When compound 18 was incubated with a rat liver homogenate preparation, no metabolite was observed, thus confirming the metabolic stability of the N-O bond in these 1-alkoxyuracils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2363-2373
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - 18 Jul 1997


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